Feeding the tribe can be daunting on Christmas day.
Every year you hear suggestions from a variety of food magazines and experts that tell you a real Christmas dinner should be cold featuring seafood, BBQ and very simple salads. Nice call but what to do….when granny demands her pudding and hard sauce ….the men of the family want turkey…the teenage boys want baked potatoes and those with a sweet tooth expect a dessert buffet?
Lyndey Milan and the Lifestyle FOOD Channel have the right idea. Together with Lyndey’s production company Naked Flame, they have created a two-part series on what to serve for Christmas. “It’s a hectic time with high stress for the cook. You have to devise the menu, shop, prepare everything and bake. I want to give you some options that will highly impress your guests and keep your stress level low,” notes the very organised Lyndey.
Part one tells you how to create a traditional Christmas feast with a light touch. Part two offers a contemporary take, which is all about sharing, a very on-trend idea. It’s hard to decide which one is best but the joy of Milan’s menus is that they are easy to mix up. None needs to be served piping hot – except the baked spuds, of course.
The contemporary menu provides three stunning canapés to choose from, a favourite being the Smoked Duck Breast with Pickled Cherries (surprisingly simple). Then there is a Whole Baked Salmon, cleaned and cut into two fillets by the fishmonger and stuffed with a spicy Salsa Verde by Lyndey.
Milan’s “most amazing celebratory dish ever” was first tried in London and has become a staple at her holiday table. Standing Rib Roast of Beef with Parsley and Anchovy Béarnaise. The butcher does most of the work tying it together – all you have to do is bake it for a few hours. Served with roasted beets, parsnips and garlic it’s a dish made for men.
Desserts are surprisingly sweet and gooey. “I don’t have a very sweet tooth, but the Raspberry Ripple Nougat Parfait with Chocolate really rocks,” Lyndey says. So do her tips on taking simple things to the next level. Lyndey’s grilled prawns and calamari not only add a luxurious note to the menu, but also are served with unusual chilli mayonnaise. The trick of keeping the turkey moist, the ease of a steamed pudding that can be made that day are just a few pointers to make fail safe Christmas magic.
“These dishes will keep the hordes jolly and well fed – Merry Christmas to you and yours,” concludes Ms Milan.
Lyndey’s Cracking Christmas specials go to air on FOOD TV Wednesday 12 and 19 December 2012 at the select times of 1pm, 5pm and 9pm.